Born: 1977 – Johannesburg, South Africa
Enchanted by nature’s form from an early age, Craig Ivor’s interest in birdlife has been clearly apparent. As a young boy, his father built an aviary in the family garden. “I was about 10 years old, I remember sitting for hours in the aviary, on a little red chair, studying the birds and watching how they interact with each other.” To seek out and identify more bird species Ivor used to spend many happy hours visiting various Nature Reserves; bird watching became a daily pursuit. At the age of twelve Craig won first prize in a West Rand Schools competition. His work was exhibited at the Pretoria State Theatre, alongside other budding artists’ award winning works from surrounding Transvaal schools.
After matriculating in 1995, Craig went on to study, receiving a National Diploma in Art, following which he entered the working world as a Graphic Designer. During this time Craig also worked for the Wildlife and Environmental Society of South Africa, which kept alive his burning desire to combine his passion for wildlife and birds with his understanding of art.
After a decade of graphic design Craig Ivor decided to change careers and move to Cape Town to follow his life-long dream of becoming an artist, setting his gaze firmly on his pursuit of artistic excellence, focused on drawing birds and other wildlife, as well as portraits.
After illustrating a bird calendar, endorsed by BirdLife South Africa, Craig Ivor’s original artworks were exhibited at a Bo-Kaap gallery where they caught the eye of the editor of Private Edition magazine. His work featured in Private Edition shortly thereafter, which turned out to be the beginning of a chain of wonderful events. The magazine’s creative director knew that author Marguerite Poland was about to publish her book of memoirs, aptly entitled Taken Captive by Birds, and introduced the two bird lovers. Before long Marguerite Poland and Craig Ivor’s collaboration was sealed through Penguin Books South Africa and twenty works commissioned for the book.
As a Pencil Artist my objective is to produce art which brings life and emotion to my subject. With the absence of colour I embrace the challenge of making my work come to life with only grey pencil.
My drawings are molded using a range of pencils together with the special white paper I work on, until the demand for contrast and depth has been achieved using shades of grey.
Whether wildlife, birds or portraits are being drawn, I always start with the eyes. Through the eyes of my subject I strive to connect the viewer to their character or personality.
In 2013 Craig entered the artwork ‘Marty Whitman’ in the Sanlam National Portrait Competition where it was selected in the top 80 of roughly 1800 entries in South Africa.
Through the exposure received from ‘Marty Whitman’, Craig was commissioned to draw his most recent portrait of ‘Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela’.
Craig Ivor’s portfolio of artworks is available as Limited Edition Giclee Prints, produced on Hahnemuhle Fine Art Paper (White 100% Cotton, 308gsm). These prints are archival quality to a minimum of 150 years.
Each print is signed and numbered and is accompanied by a certificate of authenticity.